Thursday, July 30, 2009

Horribly Named Technology

Via Wikipedia: "The vCard is a file format standard for electronic business cards. vCards are often attached to e-mail messages, but can be exchanged in other ways, such as on the World Wide Web. They can contain name and address information, phone numbers, URLs, logos, photographs, and even audio clips."

Hands down, the vCard is the most poorly-named piece of tech in human history. The double entendre of the name must create for incredibly awkward business scenarios:

Guy 1: But really...great meeting you, Rich.
Guy 2: My pleasure, Bill...say, do you have a vCard?
Guy 1: Excuse me?
Guy 2: I was just wondering if you had a vCard I could take down.
Guy 1: I'm not really you even know what you're asking me right now?
Guy 2: Um...well I mean I saw your BlackBerry, you seem like a tech-savvy guy...
Guy 1: What, a straight man can't keep up with the times? And why would you even think I'm never gotten...I have a wife and kids, goddamn it. You disgust me.

There's gotta be legions of young guys out there, black-suited, slick-back hair, bursting at the seams to gush out how many vCards they've taken in their careers.

But the vCard also brings on deeper issues, which I fear for greatly.

I can't even imagine the shmorgasbord of emotions that a man must feel in leaving a convention, realizing that he's just had his vCard taken by two men.

The thought of a young lady leaving her BlackBerry unattended, only to find a man stealing her vCard from her...her eyes well up into tears in front of the detective...the echo of the gavel sounding through the county courtroom...her blank stares into the distance at the dinner table until she finally comes to as her husband asks her what's wrong.

The vCard must be stopped. We cannot allow thousands of people to be forced to repeated re-live the forfeit of their innoncence. It is a violence against mankind. And just fucking terrible marketing.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Bathroom Blunders

The men's bathroom in my office has only two toilet seats, one tight traditional stall and one more spacious handicap stall. While on the john, I enjoy a certain environment condusive to tranquilty and solitude. The claustrophobia of the smaller, tighter stall does not provide this in the same way that the open terrain of the handicap stall does.

The past two days at work, when I've entered the men's room to conduct my daily business, I've found the handicap stall occupied, with the smaller stall left open. Dejected but nonetheless resolute, I've settled for the smaller stall. However, each time, perhaps rushed by my presence, within thirty seconds, the adjacent occupant has finished up, flushed, and left quickly before I've even finished sanitizing the toilet seat for contact. And being the strange character that I am, I've gotten bold and made moves.

I call this move the Chamberlain Right Wheel. With belt buckle dangling down, fly open, and hands holding my pants above my backside, I quickly force open my stall down, flank 90 degrees to the right, throw open the handicap stall, and lock it before anyone else can enter the bathroom and wonder what the hell's going on. So far I'm 2-for-2 on not embarassing myself on the manuveur.

However today, I was forced to retreat by an enemy presence. Following digging into the trenches in the handicap stall, I released that the TP had run-out at a particularly inopportune time. I scampered back to the smaller quarters in the next stall over, fortunately avoiding giving away my position to foreign invaders who could have entered at any time.

It was shitty in general.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Friday Fragments

Today is Friday. While Friday is technically 20% of the working week, I'd say I'm not too far off in estimating that it provides for about 4-5% of weekly productivity. After a moderately productive morning (I read 50 pages of an e-book and did about a solid hours' worth of work), I'm gonna give myself some "me" time this afternoon and go on auto-pilot. Since auto-pilot requires a lack of focus that doesn't allow a cohesive thought to exceed a paragraph, here's a couple of brief stories that have kept me entertained:

  • I spent most of the morning believing this story that a friend sent to me about Coors inventing a new can with an extra tab for shotgunning. Way too good to be true. This would surely be the defining invention of the 21st century and the greatest thing to happen to college since the latex condom.
  • Last night, in the continuation of a suspended Pirates/Nats game from May 5th, Joel Hanrahan got the win for the Nats despite having been traded from to the Pirates in the time since the game began. Nyjer Morgan, who started the game for the Pirates on May 5th, scored the winning for the Nats. Thank God for baseball.

Someone posted a note on the microwave in the break room this morning that reads "Do not leave unattended. Possible fire hazard." But when I took lunch break, no one was in the room. Looks like I'll have to spend the rest of the day keeping it company.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

My Awful Start to the Morning

There are few worse feelings than the pit in your stomach that erupts when your alarm goes off in the morning on a weekday. In my case, this feeling reaches extreme levels during the summer months, when I generally run off 6 hours of sleep and have to be up at the crack of dawn for my summer job. While I'm usually reasonably pleasant when I wake up later in the morning, all bets are off before 8 A.M. My parents have learned to just leave me alone before I go to work or expect curt, dismissive responses to whatever conversation they try to start.

While much of the 45 minutes that I spend prior to leaving for work is devoted to my daily routine, I find solace in the 5-10 minutes that I spend eating breakfast in front of the tube. Its my time to wet my palate, perform one of my three favorite bodily functions, and get lost in SportsCenter for a few brief moments before sliding in the dark chasm of the daily grind of the real world.

But like clockwork, ESPN chooses to take away this pleasure from me for one week each year. Every summer, they choose to fill my morning with agony and guilt, topped with the syrupy-sweetness of fleeting hope. Every summer, my morning breakfast collides with each of the five segments of SportsCenter's week-long My Wish series.

The My Wish segment is a week-long SportsCenter special that shows terminally-ill children having their sports-related dreams fulfilled with their favorite pro athletes/teams via the Make-a-Wish Foundation. ESPN does a great job milking the melodramatic and using cheesy, obnoxious music to help paint the tale of these young tikes who get to live their sports fantasy, such as playing catch with Marion Barber, betting on pit bulls with Michael Vick, or taking a highway booze-cruise with Charles Barkley.

Don't get me wrong: I do have a soul. Do these kids deserve to have an awesome day in between chemo treatments? Absolutely. Is it great that this program for the kids exists? Certainly. Do I applaud the athletes for participating in it? Of course. Does it make for this make for good television? Well...

I'm sure there's an audience for this kind of fluff, namely the soap opera crowd or those who relish in having a good cry or heart-wrenching Holocaust film. But goddamn it, that's not the target market for SportsCenter. That market is young-to-middle-aged males looking for sassy commentary over sports highlights. Great ESPN, you get to improve your imagine. Meanwhile, I have a stomach ache because I just saw a kid get to walk out of Cowboy Stadium knowing that he just lived the best day of his life at age 6. That's not what I need in the morning. That makes me feel like shit. What I need is more Name That Molina or jokes about Livan Hernandez being fat. Sure, I could change the channel over to NESN for five minutes, but that's like trading in a Corvette with a engine trouble for a Toyota Camry.

So come on, ESPN. Hock this thing off to the Hallmark Channel. Let SportsCenter be for sports and give me my mindless sanctuary of box scores and Bottom Lines back.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Initial Real World: Cancun Reactions

MTV reality show The Real World premiered its 22nd season last Wednesday. 22 seasons! I thought the multiple VH1 Flava Flav spinoffs were excessive, but this is insane.

To its credit, The Real World was one of the earliest group-home reality shows. It has remained watchable over the years thanks to the simplicity of its premise, the new cast of personalities each season, and the fact that you can start watching at any point in the season and immediately understand what everyone's schtick is within about ten minutes.

I DVR'd the first two episodes and watched them on Wednesday and was pleasantly surprised. I normally hate the cast and stop watching after about 3 episodes, but this year's cast seems generally more real and likeable. Plus, there's a hot chick from Boston and a dude from Lawrence.

Basically, if you're bored most Wednesday nights during the summer like me, there's certainly worse TV to be watched. Anyways, here's my analysis of the character's so far:

From the first line he spoke all season, CJ completely carved out his character and made it clear he was going to be the Alpha Bro of the house: "I'm an NFL free agent and what that means is that I'm not tied down to one particular team. When I came out of college football, I was the number four kicker in the country." And perhaps the number one tool.

That being said, CJ is the most interesting person on the show, hands down. He seems genuinely nice even if he's shallow as a kiddie pool. He's the house heartthrob and all the girls love him for his wavy locks, dreamy smile, and ripped physique. He's pretty dumb when it comes to handling girls (i.e. sleep-spooning with Emilee, then telling his girlfriend via phone the next day...effectively ending the relationship) but he's managed to avoid serious drama. He's been macking out Jonna and the adventurer in me really wants to see him bag her. All the guys in the house get along with him and clearly wish they were him.

The Gist: Toolish in nearly everyway, but loveable.

The Bahston princess. As Barstool pointed out early this week, Emilee is a former Smokeshow model. She's hot as shit, but she doesn't dress well enough to flaunt it. She's shy, seemingly unintelligent, takes no initiative, and is generally boring in every way. If CJ didn't chase her and she didn't obnoxiously defend Ayiiia (who can go suck a nut), MTV would have no usable footage of her.

The Gist: I'd fall asleep having a conversation with the chick. Step up the slutty attire or go home.

I don't know how this guy got on the show, but I'm glad he did. Pronounced "Brah-nee" ('like the paper towels'), Bronne's a down-to-earth, average-Joe-looking dude who adds a positive energy to the house. He seems like the type of guy you'd want as a bench guy for your beer league softball team. He seems to hit it off best with Derek, the gay guy, but he gets along with everyone.

In what is the highlight of the season to date, Bronne hilariously started making out with a no-go Sharon Osbourne lookalike cougar on the dancefloor of a club one night. Joey was hooking up with a middle-of-the-road brunette roughly fifteen feet away, when she stops, looks over, and tells Joey, "That's my mom." Comedic gold.

The Gist: Going to be a dominant leader in the Drunken Mistakes stat category.

Holy shit this chick is hot. Out of the coveted Rihanna mold (sexy complexion + striking eyes), she dominates the rest of the girls in the house looks-wise. She loses big-time points for having a home birthday who she calls three times a day (they must be a fun couple to be friends with). She's been falling hard for CJ's Dream Team-calibur game, letting him snuggle with her on the hammock, buying matching bracelets with him, and presumably using his tongue as a washcloth in the shower.

She seems like a real clingy girl who needs a guy nearby. It's just a matter of time before the hunter bags him game and Jonna appears in the CJ box score.

The Gist: I'm in love with her.

Derek is gay. That's not a condemnation, but simply the reason he's on the show. He seems like a really nice guy and is the house mediator. But the fact is, it's blatantly clear he's on the show because he worked at the same bar as Jonna.

Here's my guess about the dialogue that locked Derek a spot up:

MTV RW Recruiter: So Jonna, we think you're great and we'd love to offer you a spot on the show
Jonna: Oh my god! Thank you so much. (cleans her face off and gets off her knees)
MTV RW Recruiter: There's just one thing. We're kind of strapped for time since shooting starts next week. Do you have any friends of alternative ethnicities or sexual orientations?
Jonna: Well, at the bar I work at, there's this one gay guy named Derek who...
MTV RW Recruiter: Would you mind texting him and asking him if he'd like a spot on the show? I really don't have time to interview for this last spot and I mean they're all the same anyways right?

The Gist: The gay guy

The Black Chick
Does it make me a racist that I don't know her name? No. Does it make me a racist that I don't even care enough to look it up? Probably.

Shawty is terrible annoying because she hits it off with Ayiiia, who is the Antichrist. She doesn't act ghetto all the time, but has the annoying quality of turning her Jive Dial up to 11 when she gets mad. Which is a lot because Ayiiia caused more problems than unprotected sex with Magic Johnson.

The Gist: A waste of the black niche spot. Should have gone for more ghetto/booty.

With Fall Out Boy and pop punk doing relative well on the charts in recent years, MTV needed their emo kid. Joey's skinny frame, multiple tattoos, lip ring, alternative clothing, straight, greasy hair, and armada of guitars sufficed for the role.

That being said, he doesn't fit the punk rocker stereotype (which must have been pretty clear if he accepted a fucking role on The Real World). He admitted to being very proud of being the first to fuck in the house, which is pretty bro. He also doesn't seem to mind CJ's unbelievable levels of brohood. He seems to get along well with most people in the house, except Ayiiia (which he deserves major daps for antagonizing her). He loses points for playing guitar too much, being in a pretty shitty pop punk band (that somehow impressed most of his housemates), and crying when Ayiiia fucked up his guitar.

The Gist: I don't like Joey, just like I don't like Mark Hamill. But in the fight against the evil Empire that is Ayiiia, we need a Luke Skywalker.

I don't know what dipshits voted this devil-woman in as the Real World Online Casting Winner, but they should repent. She thinks she is awesome, probably doubly so because her best friend in the house is black. She has told Joey repeatedly that she hates sarcasm and sarcastic humor. In terms of humor, that pretty much leaves Carrot Top prop jokes and The Three Stooges slapstick jokes, so she clearly is not a fun person to shoot the shit with. Admittedly, she has a nice body, but her teeth are disgusting. She thinks its a funny joke to crawl into peoples' rooms when they're fucking and spying on them. That's pathetic.

Another classic line by this Queen Bitch was what she told Joey on the beach after he earnestly apologized for spitting in her tacos. Keep in mind, she had it coming. She pretty much had treated him like he was a Mencia-level asshole because she couldn't take him picking on her innocently, as he does with all the other housemates. But on the beach, she tells Joey that she forgave him but admitted she wasn't interested in being friends with him. Her explanation: I'm genuinely a nice person, but I need to keep my guard up to prevent myself from getting hurt. No, Ayiiia, you're not a nice person. Just because John Wayne Gacy entertained the neighborhood kids by dressing up as a clown, doesn't mean we're gonna give him the Neighbor of the Year award.

The Gist: If God is just, swine flu or the Mexican drug wars will put her six feet under by season's end.

Friday, June 26, 2009

End of a Great Run?

To begin, let me get one thing straight. Achewood is probably the funniest webcomic of all-time, and certainly the funniest comic strip that I have ever read on a day-to-day basis in my life. The run of consistent hilarity that the strip had from 2002 to early 2008 is pretty much unparalled.

The comic, which takes place in the fictional town of Achewood, revolves around a cast of talking stuffed animal and robots. The characters all have unique adult qualities, whether it be the entrepreneurial, thong-wearing, jive-talking cat Ray, his programming, depressed best friend Roast Beef, or cocaine-snorting, wild child Todd the Squirrel. The characters grow on the reader over the years, each earning laughs with their own distinctive brand of humor. The ingeniusly utilized alt text also provides additional insight from the creator, Chris Onstad, on the strip and often earns a bigger laugh than the final panel.

If you have at least 10 minutes of free time right now, do yourself a huge favor and read a few strips from the beginning. The only real way to read the strip properly is chronologically. While the humor is slightly more offbeat towards the beginning, it picks up in a real way after a few months of material. Pretty soon you'll be addicted.

Unfortunately, over the past nine months, the quality of Achewood output has considerably declined. Some pretty bad storylines regarding Cornelius' girlfriend, Lyle's origins, and Little Nephew traveling back in time to Wales have really weighed it down. I trace this decline in quality to three main culprits:

1) Focus on Merchandise: Onstad has posted free strips to his site for almost seven years with no advertising, so it's understandable that he wants to make some money (especially now that he has a kid). However, with the release of the Great Outdoor Fight book last fall/early winter, he decided to go on a book tour. This resulted in a decline from roughly 4 strips a week to 1-2 strips per week. Additionally, the quality suffered. January of this year only featured two strips the entire month. That's thin even for an Olson twin.

2) Premium Content Segment: Achewood also features a premium content section, which gives paying subscribers access to exclusive strips and character blogs. While I can't blame Onstad from making a buck off this, I can't help but be convinced that this has taken away from the soul of Achewood, the main storylines which remain public. A detractor from both quality and quantity.

3) Fatigue: In any sort of art or entertaining, a common wall is simply ideas. There's only so many things you can do with the same characters to draw laughs without it becoming overly repetitive. There's a reason Fawlty Towers and The Office (UK) kept themselves to twelve episodes. Between the pressure of being consistently funny 100-150 times a year and having to raise a young kid, it looks like Onstad's head might be out of it. This might also explain the excessively haughty, boring language that's been used in some of the recent storylines.

In any case, I could never bad-mouth Achewood. I've bought merch from the store (which has excellent and friendly customer service), read the site almost daily for over four years, and still love all of the characters. I will always still read the site as long as they continue to offer free content. I just wish the characters would wake up from almost a year of being boring as a group of Saturday night stoners and get back to being the fun gang of the days of yore.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Middlesex Follies: Breaking News...Ed McMahon Eats Hot Dog 15 Years Ago

This was the front page photo for the Lowell Sun today. The lead article describes a 1994 visit that Ed McMahon made to Lowell. The late Johnny Carson sidekick started his career in radio in Lowell.

I guess it's nice to pay a tribute to the guy's life, but this is really scraping the bottom of the bag. The guy liked hot dogs. So do about 100 million other American guys. Maybe pay some sort of tribute to the guy's radio career or give him a nice half-page obituary, but this? As the lead story? Were there really no drug-deal-orgy-turned-triple-murder cases in Lowell this past week?

Come to think of it, this is a priceless photo. Ed McMahon sure could stuff a weiner in his mouth.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Throbbing Steeds

For those of you who I've seen this summer, I've most likely made references to the Adam Carolla Podcast, which I listen to about five hours per week at work. It's a pretty hilarious show that gives Carolla the opportunity to rant and riff with various different comedians or performers about whatever interests him.

One of the funnier theories that Carolla has presented in the past month or so of his podcast is his "Good for the 'Stang, Good for the Wang" theory. This notion is that historically, a large number of Triple Crown race-winning horses have had names that sound a lot like something that you would name your johnson. Using this theory, he postulated that, therefore, top horses have dick names and then attemped (unsuccessfully) for each of this year's Triple Crown races.

Looking at Wikipedia pages of past Triple Crown race winners, I now present the Twenty Greatest Stang Wang Names of All-Time:

20. Bold Venture
19. Black Gold-The ebony prince
18. Needles-Long-but-thin gets the win
17. Pleasant Colony-Your cock is a wonderland
16. Commando-Anti-underpants artillery
15. War Admiral
14. Stage Door Johnny
13. Empire Maker-Probably what Travis Henry named his
12. Duke of Magenta
11. Bally Ache-For the frequently blue-balled
10. Colonel Holloway
9. Chateaugay
-For the Brokeback crowd
8. Tobasco Cat-Sure to leave girls burning for weeks
7. Commendable-Well done, genetics
6. Regret-The low-standard love pump
5. Majestic Prince-I bet Shakespeare called his junk this
4. Ruthless-Rarely takes Tenacious D's advice to heart
3. Big Brown
2. Lemon Drop Kid-When life hands you balls, make lemonade
1. Genuine Risk-Neglecting to wear a rubber since 1978

Honorable Mentions:
Conquistador Cielo (The Latin lover)
Phalanx (Sounds pretty phallic)
Foolish Pleasure

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Maine Outing

All the men from the last two generations of my dad's side of the family went up to my brother's godfather's place in Maine this weekend to lamp. Pretty solid weekend drinking Leinenkugel's Sunset Wheat from the kegerator of one of the finer man-caves southern Maine has to offer. A few firsts went down, including beer pong game with the pops, boosting our life-time record to 1-0. Also, I never thought I'd smoke up with uncles, but I guess I just didn't give credit where credit's due. These dudes lived through the 70's. They had to grow up in an era without cable television or internet porn. And if that ain't hardcore, then at least this is:

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Just Back

Colin said go abroad and he's right. He pretty much covered it all so it's not worth beating a dead horse. Just do it.

And just as Colin mentioned, a lot has happened since we have been gone, like me discovering that there is a National Sleep Foundation. Did you know this? It's nonprofit and was started nearly 20 years ago. Check it out.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Off Road Classiness

Done with work for the week, I pulled out of my company's office park and accelerated towards the first set of lights. When there's a red light and I've got 50 or so yards before the nearest car in my lane, I like to coast in. There's no rush in these situations since I'm going to have to wait for the car ahead of me to accelerate anyways and get up to speed when the lights finally do turn green. Add the ever-increasing price of gas into the equation, and coasting is just the economical way to go.

On Fuck You Fridays, however, Dan Douchebags don't agree with me. I caught a black Toyota truck 30 yards behind me as I start my coast, rapidly approaching within seconds. The truck quickly switched lanes and began accelerating towards the red light in the vacant right side of the two-lane road. However at the last second, instead of opting to be first in that right lane, the truck switches back into my left lane behind the only car waiting at the light. Taking this as a "fuck you grandpa" message to me, I threw my hands in the air and slammed on the breaks behind this Toyota.

I knew the driver of this truck was not bourgeoisie material. Anytime you see an off-roading roof rack with a light cage, you know the guy behind the wheel most likely is the sort of fella who brought a crib sheet to his GED exam. But nonetheless, his trashiness managed to surprise me when I caught the sticker on his back windshield:

Cape Cod Nude Beach
Parking Permit

How do I compete on the road with that kind of man. Touche 1992 4WD Toyota. May the summer grace you with the divine imagery of sagging tits and furrowed ball sacks.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

7 Reasons Why Golf is Great Television

Before USGA officials selfishly suspended play of the 1st Round of the US Open at Bethbage Black earlier this morning, it had been a great day at work. Thanks to a live video feed at the official US Open website, I was able to watch the group of Tiger Woods, Paddy Harrington, and Angel Cabrera play their first six holes of the day. This, along with a handful of lazy Sunday afternoons spent on the couch this spring, got me thinking about the reasons that golf is amazing to watch.

1. The Courses

The golf courses featured in PGA events are some of the most beautiful pieces of landscaping mankind has ever seen. The advent of HD television has only made the vibrant green fairways and wooded surroundings easier on the eyes. And there's just something so soothing about the Masters' theme playing just after commercial break with those close-up shots of azaleas.

Additionally, the wide variety of courses play makes each tournament unique. Each new course has its own personality and distinctive holes, such as Augusta's Amen Corner or the island par-3 at Sawgrass. Whereas in most sports the field of play is a merely a boundary, golf is a unique sport in which the terrain is the adversary.

2. The Personalities

While golf doesn't necessarily feature the outrageous trash-talking wide receivers of the NFL or the egomaniacal, motormouths of boxing, the independent nature of the game of golf allows players to develop their unique personas. Whether it be the boyish energy of Sergio Garcia, the chain-smoking huskiness of Angel Cabrera, or the crush-brews/crush-drives attitude of John Daly, its exciting to watch the wide field of PGA members week-in, week-out.

3. The Meltdowns

Golf meltdowns are the equivalent of big crashes in NASCAR; you feel bad for the guy involved, but you get a kind of sick pleasure out of it. Whether it be Jean Van de Velde triple-bogeying the 72nd hole of the 1999 British Open or Retief Goosen firing a final round 81 to blow his lead at the 2005 U.S. Open, golf fans love to see the world's best players show their mortality.

4. The Cinderella Stories

As is the case in any sport, people love to see a dark horse storm to the front of the pack. Who could forget #1-ranked Tiger Woods being forced into a playoff round (and forced to win the 18th and 19th holes to win that round) at the 2008 U.S. Open by Rocco Mediate, who was ranked 158th at the time. Or Ben Curtis winning the 2003 British Open as a rookie ranked 396th in the world. Team sports involve playoff systems that keep the Washington Nationals or Los Angeles Clippers from having their moment in the sun. Contrarily, each golf major bring the promise of introducing a player that you have never heard of, performing at the top of his game and surprising millions of fans.

5. The Championship Putts/The Playoff Holes

For my money, nothing in sports surpasses the tension of a player needing to make a putt on the 72nd hole of a major to either win or extend the tournament. You can see and practically feel the tension in his face and body language as he lines up the putt. Thousands of hours spent on the range and course, all building up to this defining moment in his career. It makes me rattled enough to watch it from the couch; I don't even think I could hold a putter with the kind of pressure, let alone stroke the thing, without Parkinson-esqe trembles. The triumph of draining the putt is pure ecstasy; the emptiness of missing it must leave one wondering if they've just blown their last chance at glory. It's pure melodrama--what is more entertaining than that?

Playoff holes are nearly as exciting, although generally less climactic. They're at their best when three or four different leaders are forced to play together, effectively turning pars into necessities, birdies into Holy Grails, and bogeys into death certificates.

6. Players' Wives/18+ Year Old Daughters

Try Googling "Elin Nordegren" or "Kenny Perry's daughter" and you'll get the idea. As proven by the Hotness/Television Face Time ratio, the hotter a spouse, the more the camera flocks to the wife when her man is leading the pack. Fortunately for viewers, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson are usually leading the pack.

7. Tiger Woods

What can be said about Tiger Woods that hasn't already been said? He will doubtlessly finish his career as the greatest golfer of all-time, if he isn't already considered it. He already has 14 majors, putting him only four behind Jack Nicklaus for the majors record of 18. Nicklaus did this over a span of 26 years, winning his last major at age 46. Tiger is 33...and getting better at the game.

He is young and black, with a great public image in a gentleman's sport, making him a media darling. His wife is smoking. He is jacked and could definitely beat you up and steal your girlfriend. He delivers in the clutch, being basically automatic when he has the lead going into Sunday and never missing a putt when he needs it on 18.

And most importantly, people watch him. TV ratings for the PGA Championship were down 55% last year with Tiger out recovering from knee surgery. Meanwhile, the final round of the U.S. Open last year drew more viewers than the competing Game 5 of the NBA Finals.

Love him or hate him, you still watch him.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Middlesex Follies: Yes, That Is a Nightmare

I'm going to try to make a do a segment in this blog where I analyze some of the headlines from local paper, The Lowell Sun.
Today's front page article front page blurb read as follows:

It was something straight out of a nightmare. Except Debbie Voisine was wide awake. The clock read 1 a.m. on May 19 when Voisine awoke to a horrible smell. Her mobile home was dark.

That's literally as far as the blurb elaborated. It does sounds like a nightmare. If I ever had a dream about living in a trailer park, I'd probably wake up in a cold sweat. I'd hit the library for six hours the next day and diagram up some better life goals. Even still, cheap rip at the Middlesex County's unwashed, Lowell Sun.

The article continues:

She climbed out of bed and walked toward the bathroom. When she entered the room, Voisine says she slipped and landed in a couple of inches of raw sewage.

So not only does the lady get shit on in a quite literal sense, but she goes to the papers to get her story out and gets another heap of journalistic dung poured on her person.

But wait, park maintenance to the rescue!

When park maintenance showed up, Voisine said they used duct tape to fix the pipe and seal her heating vent, then used her garden rake to pull toilet paper from under the trailer.

Great service, guys. You eff up her pipes to the point that her midnight bathroom trip turns into an anecdote from The Things They Carried. But thankfully, you come in with the rescue plan on a twelve-year old: put tape on the hole and throw TP on the mess.

Chalk that up as reason #7,894 to not live in Chelmsford.


It's been almost a year since I last posted here. A lot has happened in this year. The United States now has its first black president. The Pittsburgh Steelers defeated the Arizona Cardinals to win the Super Bowl. Paul Blart: Mall Cop was released to universal acclaim.

In any case, as the summer brings more time to my hands, I'd like to update this a bit more. I'd say my intent is to provide an eclectic mix of whatever I feel is interesting and, preferably, original. I feel like a lot of the stuff I read on blogs are just tiresome rehashes of stories, bogged down by even shoddier writing. Even I have been guilty of this trend. But no more. I'm going to bring straight fire, Dylan-style, and hopefully induce a chuckle or two along the way.

Saturday, January 10, 2009


I caught up with an old friend recently. It was good. It opened my eyes. Today he said to me from far away, "you ready for this?" Him saying that to me felt comforting. It's been over four months since I've last written in this. Over four months since the summer. A lot has happened, some good, some bad. Thought: I don't think there's hardly any time to waste anymore. Shit just seems to fly by. I don't know what to make of that. But I think I'm ready. I think I need this.

photo by Frank Winters